Skip to content

Win A Copy Of This is How We Are Human By Louise Beech

This Is How We Are HumanOn the book tour for Louise Beech’s new book called ‘This Is How We Are Human’, I’ve a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky person.

What the back cover says

Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely.

Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy … she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.

Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.

When these three lives collide – intertwine in unexpected ways – everything changes. For everyone.

To be in with a chance of winning the book, simply answer the following the question by leaving your answer in the comment box below.

What is the name of Sebastian’s mother?

Competition closes 21st June 2021 and is open to United Kingdom entries only.

Good luck!

The Source By Sarah Sultoon

The Source‘The Source’ is the debut novel by award-winning CNN journalist Sarah Sultoon.

A young TV journalist is forced to revisit her harrowing past when she’s thrust into a sex-trafficking investigation in her hometown.

Written in the past and present tense, this book which is based on true life experience is a intense thriller that makes for unsettling reading at times.

The story is seen through of the narrative of teenager Carly, who lives with her alcoholic mother and baby sister called Kayleigh. She hates the life that she has to lead and blames her mother for everything that has gone wrong. Her brother Jason has joined the army and invites her and her best friend Rachel to come to the barracks and it’s there that both girls get caught in a sex abuse and Carly feels unable to say no incase something happens to her little sister. Now many years later, Marie a journalist is investigating a new sex trafficking ring and is finding it a difficult with new emotions and memories coming back the closer and more involved she gets in the story.

This story is a difficult read, Carly is a strong character with a deep frustration for her alcoholic mother who has let the family go and sits around self-pitying herself. She longs for a better life and the sex is an escape for her. Her primary concern is her little sister and will do everything in her power to keep her safe and from harm. As the story progresses, we see Carly realise that this isn’t the life for her and longs to make a better one and it makes for sad reading when everything blows up and Carly has to deal with the aftermath.

Although the author doesn’t go into much detail of the extent of the sex abuse, there is enough details for the reader to read between the lines, how never to say no and bite the sheets and this does make for disturbing imagery for teenagers as young as 14 and younger.

Deeply dark and troubling. ‘The Source’ shines a light on sex abuse within the army and police, forces that are meant to protect and not to deprive young ones of their innocence. The story is written over a decade, shows how far a person will go for a story as well as confronting their past. Fast paced and powerful writing from the very beginning, ‘The Source’ is a hard hitting and emotional story about survival and resilience.

You can pre-order ‘The Source’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 15th April 2021.

Smoke Screen By Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst

Smoke Screen‘Smoke Screen’ is the latest book by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst.

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert. Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Smeplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found. Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…

Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst is back with another thrilling book, the second is in the Blix and Ramm series and sees the duo back again trying to solve terrorism attacks in the city of Oslo as well as revisit an old case of a missing child.

I really enjoyed this book and just like the first book in the series called ‘Death Deserved’, ‘Smoke Screen’ also travels at a fast pace as the count is on to solve the mystery as well as save lives. In this book, I felt Emma had a stronger presence in this book, that may have been down the personal tragedy she had encountered and she was quite prominent in scenes, occasionally ahead of Blix with theories and suspects. Whereas Blix I felt had a bit of a back seat in the story, but that didn’t make his character any less interesting or strong in the story.

The different perspectives in the story gave a great slant to the story, whether it was a journalistic approach with Emma’s scenes or the police procedures with Blix and his partner Kovic.

Thomas and Jorn have a wonderful skill of creating the vivid descriptions of the Danish landscape that really sweeps the reader away in this crime thriller.

Racy with plenty of drama that keeps the reader on their toes, ‘Smoke Screen’ is a grim and gritty thriller with many twists and unreliable characters that makes everyone a suspect in this Nordic thriller.

You can buy ‘Smoke Screen’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Fallen Angels By Gunnar Staalesen

Fallen AngelsOn today’s book tour, I’ve an extract from Gunnar Staalesen’s new book called ‘Fallen Angels’.

Sit back and enjoy the first chapter from this Nordic Noir.

We stood outside the chapel. None of us looked at one another directly; no one wanted to take the initiative and leave. By the front door Jan Petter’s widow, eyes red-rimmed, was receiving the last mourner’s condolences with a limp handshake. The sleet landed on our shoulders like colourless confetti.

Even Paul Finckel’s strident sarcasm had dwindled to nothing.

‘Anyone want a lift into town?’

‘I’ve got my car here,’ I said.

‘What about going out for a beer, all three of us? I just have to nip down to the newspaper.’ Finckel looked at Jakob.

‘That’s an idea. I have to go home first and take care of the kids.’

‘Where do you live?’

‘In Nygårdshøyden.’

I looked at Finckel. ‘I’ll drive Jakob down. Where shall we meet?’

‘We might have to drive our youngest daughter to my sister’s,’ Jakob said. ‘She lives in Sandviken.’

‘Call me when you’re ready,’ Finckel said. ‘I’m at the paper. It’s pretty central as far as all the important watering holes are concerned.’

‘That’s why he works there,’ I added.

‘There are worse reasons,’ Finckel grunted, and left.

We followed him down to the car park.

We drove in silence from Møllendal, crossed Gamle Nygård bridge and took the illegal left-turn the new traffic arrangement almost invited you to take, to Marineholmen, on the southern side of Nygård Park.

Jakob explained where he lived. Halfway between St John’s church and Sydnæs Battalion marching band. The decibel level rose considerably in the spring as Easter week approached, with the pealing of bells at all times of the day and the band doing their drills every Tuesday and Saturday.

‘How many children have you got?’ I asked as we passed the football ground in Møhlenpris. ‘Three,’ he answered. ‘Though they’re not all children really … Maria’s sixteen. Then there’s Petter, who’s fourteen, and little Grete, who’s six. She’s the one who’s the problem if Maria can’t look after her for a few hours.’

As we turned up to the top of Olaf Ryes vei, he said: ‘My wife’s … moved out.’

I nodded, but said nothing.

The building where he lived was in the middle of the district. It had a redbrick façade and faced the shadowy side of the street. Jakob lived on the first floor in two flats that had been merged into one.

Midway up the dark stairwell he stopped with one hand on the railing, half turned to me and said pensively: ‘How do you get on with Jesus, Varg?’

The unexpected question made me feel like a turtle that had been whipped onto its back and deprived of any protection. I mumbled: ‘Well, I …Why do you ask? Are you related?’

He scrutinised me. Then he shot me a gentle smile. ‘It’s strange, meeting you again after such a long time. A lot of water’s flowed under the bridge, eh?’

I nodded in agreement. A lot of water indeed.

Then he carried on up. He rang the doorbell as he put the key in the lock and held the door open for me.

We went into a long, dark hallway. On the floor was an open, light-brown leather satchel. Shoes and boots were strewn across the floor and on a chair there were piled four or five jackets of various sizes and styles. On a little chest of drawers I espied an old-fashioned black telephone under a stack of brochures, free newspapers and unopened junk mail. Somewhere nearby I felt the monotonous throb of disco rhythms.

The door to a blue kitchen was open. Plates, cups, glasses and breakfast items were still on the table and a somewhat sickly smell of rancid fat and stale carrots wafted out to us.

Jakob closed the kitchen door and opened another, to the sitting room. ‘Come in, Varg.’ Then he shouted: ‘Maria! Are you at home?’

After an unhurried pause a door opened further down the corridor and the pop music became louder. ‘What’s up?’ a young girl said.

Jakob’s voice was drowned out as he advanced down the corridor.

I looked around the large sitting room, which was L-shaped as two rooms had been merged and the dividing wall replaced with a big, white sliding door.

At the back, on wooden flooring treated with lye, there was a black grand piano surrounded by rag rugs and black-and-white pictures on the walls. One wall was covered with shelves of books and sheet music, and inside a half open cupboard I glimpsed a not inconsiderable collection of records and cassettes.

If that wasn’t enough to quench your thirst, you can pre-order ‘Fallen Angels’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 12th November 2020.

The Seven Doors By Agnes Ravtn

The Seven Doors‘The Seven Doors’ is the latest book by Agnes Ravtn.

University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her difficult daughter are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition. When her daughter decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman living there disappears, leaving her son behind, the day after Nina and her daughter pay her a visit. With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Nordic Noir so I was looking forward to reading ‘The Seven Doors’.

The story is seen through the narrative of Literary professor Nina who believes that English professors should be capable of investigating crimes due to their knowledge of myths and folklores and this sets up the premise of the story. Nina finds herself obsessing over the disappearance of Mari Neilson who was the former tenant in an apartment that she and her husband Mads had. She was unaware of the woman being a tenant in the house until she and her daughter visited it as her daughter Ingeberg was wanting to move in ahead of her second pregnancy.

The story then flows with Nina doing her own investigative work into the disappearance, retracing Mari’s last steps and her relationships with her parents as well as her ex husband Nicolas Bull, who’s returned to the Bergen area after being gone for years. Although we only meet Mari once in a story for a brief introduction, Agnes creates a full image of the woman with stories from her parents and ex husband all giving an insight into the woman.

The story is cleverly crafted with references to Nordic folk lore which is where the title of the book comes from. A captain called Bluebeard’s Castle who had 7 doors in his house and forbid his wife from looking behind them. It’s a tale of revenge, loss and jealousy and it’s essentially what this book is also about.

The story is extremely atmospheric and the author includes vivid descriptions of the town, the food and the festive traditions. The descriptions of the snow covered streets to the unsettling folklores made for fascinating reading. The story is primarily about the complexities of relationships, Nina has a strained relationship with her often outspoken and robust daughter Ingeberg and struggles to connect with her granddaughter who is always pushing her away and Mads is often working and leaving Nina to her own thoughts.

This book was a fascinating to read, but the author does not include speech marks so it takes a while to get used too but after a few pages, you don’t notice it.

Atmospheric and suspenseful with tension simmering throughout, ‘The Seven Doors’ was originally a Nordic book that has been translated by Rosie Hedger and for the English market.

‘The Seven Doors’ is a twisted story with drama and unreliable characters that made for gripping reading.

You can buy ‘The Seven Doors’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.